The ‘m e r i’ project is a collection of photographs and stories, initiated as a result of lived experiences, personal growth and conversations with young Papua New Guinean women. Whilst unpacking questions surrounding cultural identity and Black womanhood, I encountered a recurring theme: Young PNG women often felt silenced and often fight against a limited vision of what was deemed possible for themselves. The common portrayal of PNG women in western media is often associated with tragedy or poverty. This narrative is not only damaging to the identity of these women but further silences them.
The creative concept of the ‘m e r i’ project focuses on the re-contextualising of PNG women. It allows PNG women to voice, reshape and guide their own narratives. This idea will be artistically explored through photography, written text and oral storytelling of and from these women.
In May 2020, after several years of research and content gathering, the ‘m e r i’ project will be exhibited and the community can finally see and hear the voices of young PNG women taking up space and shaping their own narratives.